Dutch giant ABP buys European infrastructure portfolio including wind and solar assets

Dutch civil service fund acquires DIF Infrastructure II portfolio

Dutch civil service pension giant ABP has announced the acquisition of the entire portfolio of a European infrastructure fund that includes renewable energy assets in a €700m move that is being seen as one of the largest deals of this type for years.

ABP, via its fund manager APG Asset Management, has acquired the DIF Infrastructure II portfolio from Amsterdam-based infra firm Dutch Infrastructure Fund. The transaction comprises 48 public private partnership (PPP) and renewable energy assets across Continental Europe and the UK.

It follows APG teaming up last month with HgCapital’s Vasa Vind to build Sweden’s largest onshore wind power project.

DIF said today that APG, which has assets of €391bn, was selected following a competitive bidding process, adding that, as part of its bid, APG requested DIF to continue to manage the portfolio through a new investment vehicle, with a term of 25 years.

DIF II was launched in 2008 with a 10-year life and reached a final closing in July 2010, with €572m of committed capital and made 58 investments; of which 10 investments have already been realized.

The remaining portfolio includes investments in hospitals, schools, government accommodation, roads, solar and wind projects.ABP Chair Corien Wortmann-Kool said the investment was important for the fund’s sustainable and responsible investment policy in three ways. “We invest in infrastructure in the Netherlands. In addition, we expand our investments in solar and wind energy. And finally, we contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (UN) with various projects. She said it was “a nice package” that would provide a good and stable return for a long time.

DIF Managing Partner Wim Blaasse said: “We are very pleased to have agreed this transaction with APG.

“It generates an excellent result for the DIF II investors, well above the fund’s target return at inception, and will allow the Fund to be fully realised within its contractual life.”

Immanuel Rubin, a partner at private equity advisory firm Campbell Lutyens which advised DIF, said the deal is “one of the largest infrastructure portfolio transactions in over five years”.

The transaction, which is subject to European anti-trust approval, is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

Earlier this month APG teamed up with fellow Dutch pension investor PGGM to develop a methodology to identify investment opportunities linked to 13 of the 17 SDGs.